Our marriage had humble financial beginnings. My husband was just out of college with a new job and I was just starting my sophmore year of college. By the second semester of my senior year of college we were expecting Belly Boy. Belly Bird and Belly Bug came along 18 and 36 months later respectively, and I was entrenched in life as a mom. Frugal wasn't a choice. It was a necessity.
My husband, being the hard worker and creative soul that he is, landed a new job that would take us 1000 miles from all we knew. We landed in a new city unprepared for the expense of suburban life. Frugal was less of a necessity, but we still weren't focused on making our money work for us.
A year later we were approached about moving to Germany for two or three years for my husband to receive some additional training and international experience. The contract he was awarded would move us farther from frugal. Life in Germany was good. We traveled a great deal, but were gaining some wisdom regarding our finances. We planned vacations carefully and began to find some financial stability. As our financial situation improved we began to plan our transition back to the U.S.
We made some good decisions upon our return. We rented a year watching homes built and sold in the neighborhood where we hoped to live. We made the decision to buy a newly constructed home, knowing that my husband's engineering and construction experience, along with our ability to check on construction daily would be a benefit in the process. We planned conservatively, but were getting adjusted to living more comfortably. We assumed some more consumer debt counting on the one and a half incomes (by this time I was regularly substitute teaching at my children's school), and feeling there was plenty of time to address our debt.
Then Belly Boy was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008. I quit working, and my husband needed some extra time off work to help with the girls. We ate out whenever we were too exhausted to cook and whenever we had to stay with Belly Boy at the hospital. Suddenly we were spending a small fortune on gasoline driving to and from the hospital.
In 2009 my husband's company took some hard blows. There were several plant shutdowns and our income dropped even further.
In the fall of 2009 Belly Boy relapsed and needed a bone marrow transplant. We hadn't even had a chance to address the bills from his previous year of treatment.
Through 2008 and 2009 we made a return to frugal living. This time it's for good. Not because it will always be necessary, but because over this long journey there have been too many times we saw people in greater need than we ever were... and we were in no condition to help ourselves or them.
Our goal is to live a healthy, balanced, and frugal lifestyle... one crazy day after another!